“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 14:11
You don’t hear much about humility these days. In fact, we live in a curious social media world that is most often used to self-promote and “puff up” importance. Where every thought that seems to come across someone’s mind is instantaneously uploaded to their Twitter page for their “adoring public” to fawn over. Some people seem to delight in the “airing” of their opinions as if the world has been waiting with bated breath for their brilliance.
I know I shouldn’t be, but I am sometimes entertained by the train wrecks that often result from these self-gratifying postings. And then I begin to feel a little bit sorry for them when they are called out for something they posted and have to walk it back and apologize.
Talk about embarrassing!
While Jesus did not have a social media culture in His day, there certainly were social mores that could easily be overlooked. People were people, and self-promotion has always been an Achilles heel for many. In the passage we are looking at today, Jesus addresses humility head on.
Luke 14:7-9 says, “And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, ‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, “Give your place to this man,” and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.’”
Jesus points out we should avoid elevating ourselves and creating embarrassing situations that could easily be sidestepped with just a little bit of thought and practice. It takes some effort, because some of us are naturally inclined toward attention. But we can grow in ways which give deference to others and avoid having the spotlight shone directly upon us. For example:
- Do not think more of yourself than you should, and keep things in perspective.
- Strive to always put others ahead of your own interests.
- Try to not consider what you get out of something, but in humility consider what you can do to meet the needs of others.
- Keep in mind that your reward is eternal and not temporal. Remember your actions are seen by God and your reward will be left to Him.
Jesus reminds us in Luke 14:11, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
So the next time you find yourself confronted by the temptation to elevate yourself, you may want to hit the brakes. Look around and consider if what you are about to do helps someone else or promotes yourself.